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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
October Zinnias,
The season draws to a close

*Next* year, I'll have (I hope) ironweed, white, lavender and purple asters, goldenrod, purple joe pye weed, two-three kinds of sedum to show off, and if I'm really really lucky, milk weed, joe pye weed, staghorn sumac and queen of the prairie in my autumn garden. This year, I had a lot of bare spots, so I planted zinnias, which I haven't really done since ’97. I grew them from seed, and they got off to a slow start. By August, however, they were doing pretty well. By October, they were so large, they were toppling over, and, of course, succumbing, for the most part, to mildew.

zinnias. I have no idea they'd grow into plants 18” wide—I think I planted them 8–12” apart!

But they're still pretty. I've saved seeds of some of my favorites, and will try them again. And it was nice to see something grow: many of the perennials I planted, such as speedwell and daisies, got off to such a slow start I despaired of them, though they did finally grow; and some others, such as primula and knautia, didn't come up at all.

One of my favorites. I loved the unusual color and perfect, button shape. This time I purchased 2 varieties—cut and come again (since they'd done so well for me 8 years ago) and a ‘button’ type. Frankly, I can't tell them apart. I think these coral ones might be the smaller variety, but I can't really be sure.


A close up of the wonderful structure of this flower. Hm. Even with sharpening and downscaling it looks out of focus. Mebbe I should try this again...


Finally got around to painting our dull beige shed moss and fushcia. I loved all the zinnia colors, but I definitely have a preference for fushcia...


Again, a closeup showing the multiple layers of petals. Some plants seemed to do this more readily than others: I had mixed a lot of compost in the soil, and when I noticed the plants drooping during the August heat, I made it a real priority to water every couple of days—makes a big difference:)


One of my prolific plants, so laden it flopped over sideways.


file created 16oct.